Software in schools, again

Anthony Yarusso tonyyarusso at
Wed Dec 20 17:27:22 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

Evan Leibovitch wrote:
> Anthony Yarusso wrote:
>> This ( reminded
>> me - whatever became of that chatter re: software in use by Ontario
>> school boards?  Also, anybody have good connections to an NDP MP or
>> similar that might be willing to make some noise on behalf of
>> open-source in education?  (I have connections to a candidate (dept
>> chair's wife), but she didn't win)
> This is but one problem with having an Ubuntu group separate from the
> rest of the community. There are already some efforts being made, at
> least with the TDSB, to begin the slow process of changing minds. But
> they're happening elsewhere. Too bad Ubuntu folks that go no further
> than this forum are out of touch with what the rest of the community is
> doing.
> Go in pushing Ubuntu at this stage in the game and you'll get laughed
> out the door. This is a lengthy matter of educating the educators, and
> they have no idea why not to stick with Windows. It works "well enough"
> and the province pays the cost of the software so price isn't an issue
> to them. This is a fight that Apple has been losing for years despite
> its best efforts; before you can even talk to bureaucrats about
> distributions, you need to convince them "why not Microsoft" and that is
> a VERY hard sell. Even having succeeded then, the question becomes "why
> not Apple". Only AFTER they've been convinced that Linux is a credible
> alternative can you even begin to talk Ubuntu -- and then you'll need to
> be ready with a commercial support infrastructure capable of supporting
> tens of thousands of systems.
> There is already a well-known story of a Toronto high school which had a
> Linux lab closed down at the request of the _educators_. There is
> substantial inertia to overcome, and any assistance is welcome.
> - Evan
Re: "Too bad Ubuntu folks that go no further than this forum are out
of touch with what the rest of the community is doing.", Ubuntu is
what got me into any of this, preceded only by Firefox and
Thunderbird.  I may not have been following open-source activities
since "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", but that doesn't mean I'm
purposely ignoring efforts external to Ubuntu - it's just that this is
the segment of the community I connected with, and what I currently
have time for.  I use lists like this to find out about the other
goings-on, so please try to approach this as me making connections,
rather than trying to stay cubbyholed within solely Ubuntu...

You also seem to blame the educators, so it may be useful to point out
at this time that I am in that field myself, so times may be
a-changin'.  Also, it should be noted that IME and hearsay, _students_
are interested, teachers are curious but too busy for changes,
administrators are skeptical, and government doesn't even consider
it.  So, the lower levels I would think have a higher chance of
inroads.  Also, for counter-example, see Indiana, where teachers,
administrators, and the government are all very excited about their
recent Linux pilot program.  (btw, the technical head of this project
DOES respond to curious e-mails!)

I also don't mean for solely a promotion of Ubuntu in schools,
although I think it is well-suited to the task.  The broader concern
is open-source in general.

Now, those said, it sounds like you have some idea of what is going on
currently.  Do you have any particular groups that are doing major
things, or coordination efforts to recommend?  You said some broad
aspects that need to be addressed, but do you have any suggestions on
concrete ways to begin accomplishing them?
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)


More information about the ubuntu-ca mailing list